Globe Trot
Bank employees protest outside the Greek parliament.
Associated Press/Photo by Photo by Petros Giannakouris
Bank employees protest outside the Greek parliament.

Globe Trot 10.24


The euro is falling, this time over unexpectedly bad numbers from Germany—Europe’s economic powerhouse—that show the eurozone crisis oozing into the coffers of its strongest partners. Today Greeks are in the streets again over a just-approved austerity package. And in Spain protestors also took to the streets after lawmakers also approved budget cuts needed to keep the euro afloat.

The impending demise of the euro was not once mentioned in Monday night’s abysmal presidential debate on foreign policy. My take: Ron Paul won. The candidates seemingly agreed on more foreign policy issues than they disagreed on. One fallout: International observers, at least in the Arab world where the Syrian civil war is the dominant issue, care less than usual about who wins.

What’s all this about Mali? Gov. Mitt Romney referenced four times in Monday’s debate the conflict in the North African nation, where Tuareg rebels have been fighting for an independent state in the north—now apparently with the aid of al-Qaeda and its foreign operatives. What’s significant is that it demonstrates most clearly the shifting emphasis from central Asia to North Africa of al-Qaeda and its affiliates. And brings up the question of how the United States is positioning resources to combat it. But, of course, none of that was brought up in the presidential debate.

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An FBI team has been sent to Lebanon to probe last week’s car bombing in central Beirut that killed Lebanon’s internal security chief. Let’s hope they arrive on the scene sooner than they did in Benghazi, Libya.

Foreign donors? President Obama has received $4.5 million in online donations from people who live in ZIP codes that don’t exist. It raises the question of illegal campaign donations from foreign entities. Also, we’ve heard from a source of a European slated to fly to Florida to volunteer for the Obama campaign leading up to the election. This would represent a foreign donation in kind—also illegal. Anyone else heard these reports or an organized effort to solicit overseas volunteers?

More than 1,000 students from South Sudan are this week sitting for crucial exams to earn a Uganda Certificate of Education. In the world’s newest country, and a country that mostly lacks roads and electricity, qualifying to take entrance exams in a bordering state is an achievement.


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